A study performed in the Netherlands, commissioned by Selko, shows that hydroxy trace minerals can improve palatability of piglet diets over sulphate mineral sources.
Piglets are acclimated to a highly palatable, energy dense, liquid based diet of sow’s milk. That diet is suddenly changed to a relatively unpalatable, dry/pelleted feed. Thus, any modifications formulators can use to improve palatability or feed intake are of great interest to pig producers in order to maintain intake levels during this transition.
Hydroxy trace minerals have been developed as a new source of minerals. They’re virtually insoluble at a pH above 4.0, which makes a big difference in terms of palatability. Comparatively, inorganic sources of minerals such as copper sulphate are highly soluble. In a recent study in the Netherlands, piglets were provided a free choice of diets containing either sulphate forms of trace minerals (highly soluble) or Selko IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals (insoluble).
It was found that in the first four weeks after weaning, piglets had a significantly higher preference for hydroxy trace mineral diets compared to those with sulphates. This can help to maximise feed intake and minimise adverse palatability, hence reducing the effects such as post-weaning growth reduction.